No, disposable film cameras are not dead — Fujifilm is giving them a makeover

fujifilm festival 2017
Ricochet64 / 123RF
The introduction of digital cameras brought with it death predictions for film — yet it not only remains a popular artistic medium, but even the disposable film point-and-shoot hasn’t succumbed to the smartphone camera. Earlier this week, Fujifilm’s Wonder Photo Shop in New York City shared a video asking fans to choose the design of their next disposable camera.

The new design for their long-standing QuickSnap disposable cameras will be coming to Fujifilm’s U.S. retail store sometime later in 2017, according to the post. All four options appear to be 27 exposure cameras with a built-in flash but use a different design. While the video of the cameras does not imply any changes to what is inside, they do give the usual green and black exterior a makeover.

The first appears to have been inspired by recycled paper with a brown and green wrap. The second embraces a nearly all-white look and the third a white wrap with green and red accents. The fourth option adopts the classic look of a leather-wrapped camera that Fujifilm has also been giving to its latest point-and-shoots — though as a disposable camera, it’s probably just a print on the paper wrap.

While convenience has largely everyone but artists using film, there is still a number of film perks that still have even consumers adopting the older medium. Fujifilm’s instant film camera line that spits out tangible prints, Instax, actually outsold their digital camera line by four times last year. While the instant cameras use traditional film like the kind made popular by Polaroid, they incorporate new features, like a selfie mode. The U.S. and Asia accounted for 30 percent of those Instax sales.

If Fujifilm is putting the effort into redesigning the disposable camera, they are likely still seeing significant sales. When the Instax cameras started to drop off with the digital camera, for example, Fujifilm’s redesign helped the cameras to not only become popular options but to actually outsell the digital ones.

While Amazon lists some of the Fujifilm QuickSnaps as discontinued, there are still several with the old green and black design selling, with a single camera selling for around $10.

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